The sun has fired another blast directly at Earth. A class M8.4 solar X-ray flare just was just sent hurling in our direction at 12:44 PM (EST) today from sunspot (AR1429) again . This is a major flare that is just a couple of points short of an X-Class flare and it is directly facing Earth so we will feel it with full force. Our magnetosphere is already stressed from the recent barrage and this can’t make things any better. The chance of a strong geomagnetic storm is probable. This post will be updated as more details are determined. Sometime during the morning of March 12, a strong (K7 or higher) geomagnetic storm will arrive in the form of a magnetic cloud resulting from the full halo CME generated on March 9.
March 7th we predicted that a major solar flare would happen within 12-24 hours. It took 36 hours instead but an M6.3-Class flare has occurred from AR 1429 this morning. The resulting CME is directly facing Earth and will arrive March 11th or early March 12th. A major geomagnetic storm of Kp7 or greater will hit us potentially affecting radio, airline and GPS systems.
- Solar flares could cause “as much devastation as a tsunami” (telegraph.co.uk)
- Strong solar flares still shooting out from active spot on sun (foxnews.com)
The sun has hurled a 2nd X Class flare at Earth. The flare was measured at X1.3 and was not directly aimed at Earth. This is the 2nd X-Class flare from sunspot AR1429 in less than 24 hrs. It is expected to reach the sometime in the next 24-48 hours and will create geomagnetic disturbances that may significantly disrupt radio and GPS systems.
- Sun blasts out an X-treme flare (photoblog.msnbc.msn.com)
Sunspot AR1429 has already sent two CMEs into space since it began turning earthward over the weekend. Neither CME is heading directly at Earth, but both are expected to hit our planet’s magnetosphere. NOAA forecasters predict the CME’s will create a 30% to 40% chance of geomagnetic storms during the next 24-48 hours.
- Powerful Solar Flare May Be Signal of More to Come (livescience.com)
A powerful X2-Class flare measuring 1.8 was unleashed from sunspot 1402 last night as it was rotating away from us. The protons unleashed by the Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) are bombarding Earth right now but fortunately, the sunspot was rotating away from us at the time of the explosion so it will just miss us. Nonetheless, the Earth will see some of the affects caused from this with radio interference and GPS issues. Had this sunspot directly faced us at the point of explosion, it could have caused more substantial effects. we may continue to see more light shows similar to the ones enjoyed in the Northern latitudes this past week. Most of the effects will reach Earth January 30th/31st.
- The Sun’s still blasting out flares… BIG ones (blogs.discovermagazine.com)
- Friday’s Solar Flare Twice As Energetic As Monday’s; Earth Safe (science.slashdot.org)
- CosmicLog: Sunspot unleashes a parting shot (cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com)
In a surprise announcement, NASA has scheduled a special news briefing tomorrow afternoon at 2 PM (EST) at their Washington D.C headquarters building to discuss new details about the structure of solar storms and the impact they have on Earth. The new information comes from NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, or STEREO, spacecraft and other NASA probes.
The briefing will take place in NASA Headquarters’ James E. Webb Auditorium, located at 300 E St. SW in Washington, and will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
The briefing panelists are:
– Madhulika Guhathakurta, STEREO program scientist, NASA Headquarters
– Craig DeForest, staff scientist, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colo.
– David Webb, research physicist, Institute for Scientific Research, Boston College
– Alysha Reinard, research scientist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Colorado, Boulder
The briefing will be broadcast live on NASA TV: